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>> reporter: no. and we've seen this before, haven't we? i know that rings a bell for you, 2004, john kerry, you know, you could argue that tt was just deadly for himed when republicans targeted him, saying that he was for the war and then he was against the war. >> thanks so much, brianna keilar. now it's time to go to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." wolf? >> joe, thanks very much. happening now, fierce new battles in eastern libya as moammar gadhafi recruits new n broader command role in the days ahead, one week into the coalitioair strikes. who's winning right now? also this hour, growing fears that syria could be the next middle eastern country to explode. a massive anti-government protest turns violent when security forces open fire. at least three dozen people reportedly are dead. and it could be the most dangerous development yet in japan's nuclear crisis. authorities sayhere may be a leak in the reactor core,
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increasing the possibility of a large-scale release of radiation. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." was be ebegin with bya. moammar gadhafi's forces are facing the powerful weapons of the nato alliance, like this air strike by britain. and yet, u.s. military officials concede today that the libyan regime is still determined to fight and reinforced its positions in the eastern cities fwh including ajdabiya. the occasion says gadhafi is trying to recruit and arm volunteers to fight rebel forces. the libyan strongman defiant as nato moves to take over command of the libyan mission. the top u.s. commander of the operation tells me that nato has now agreed in principle to not only take charge of the no-fully zone but to also to protect libyan civilians as well. the details will be worked out, he says, over the next few erda. general carter ham sending a
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message directly to gadhafi. here in "the situation room," we spoke just a littlewhilego and i had this exchange with him. cnn is seen live around the world, including in libya. and officer your military-to-military -- the officers surrounding gadhafi might be watching right now, gadhafi might be watching, his sons might be watching. look into atthe camera. what would you say to them right now, officer t officer? >> i woulsay, comply with the will of the international community as outlined in the united states security council resolution 1973. cease attacking civilians. withdraw your arms and your troops from areas inhichhey are attacking civilians. serve the people of libya and not serve this legitimate regime. >> cnn's reza sayah standing by
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in benghazi. but let's go nic robertson in tripoli first. he you speak likely -- to these libyan supporters of gadhafi, including in the military, how likely are they to respond to general ham when he looks into the camera and says, guys, if you want to survive, this is the moment to give up, lay down your arms, c andomply with u.n. security council resolution 1973. nic, what do you think? >> rorter: well, wolf, from the perspective we get here in tripoli, it seems to me the answer is, it's not very likely, it's not going to happen in the near future. i know from talking to people here, diplomats, politicians over the past few weeks, that they have had differences in the way dhafi hased to run things in the country. it seems that they're rallying around hem. there will be cracks here that can be exploited. right now, they're not appearing. what i found interesting, yesterday i met a man, what he described to me as a volunteer
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on the front line in the east of the country, fighting in ajdabiya. that key town where gadhafi troops refuseo back off the rebel advances there. he'd come back to the capital, so it was clear to me that some people down there that have a choice. you said he was a volunteer, don't want to get into this fight and are getting away. fro it. but every indication is that gadhafi willry to hold on to that town. it's strategically important, it's psychologically important, and he's d in there and it seems that he's not going to pull out. and he will do everything he can to keep his commanders feet to the fire, if you will, to stay in the fight. because they know one thing is at the back of them. the tribes here are at the back of them. if they step back from the fight, gadhafi will bring in the trib. and also the commanders know that he will use them against them as well if they don't do what he says right now, wolf >> gadhafi keeps talking about a cease-fire, nic, as you well know. the pentagon keeps sang that there is no cease-fire. the united nations, ban ki-moon says there is no cease-fire.
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they say the libyan government is in violation of the u.n. security council resolution. but what are you hearing behind the scenes about gadhafi's military movements and all of his talk about a cease-fire? >> reporter: well, we hear the government sort of maneuvering on their position in ajdabiya, verbally maneuvering. two nigs ago talking about -- rather, misratah, talking about reconnecting water supplies, electricity supplies, communications. the town they have is essentially isolated and cut off. we know that the coalitions had an impact there. we know that t opposition there is not under such a military threat and advance from gadhafi's forces as they were. but ajdabiya is entirely different. this is a strategic line. and for gadhafi, th way he and his government see the situation there is they moved in there, they view it as the rebels came from benghazi, moved in there, moved west, took towns. the government views it that
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they pushed back, took those towns back from the rebels, including ajdabiya, which is where they are now. and for them, they see themselves as dug in. they say the rebels are attacking, there are civilians city ithe city, the civilians are unsafe, not because of us, they say, but because of the rebels. and they throw it back at the international community. ywhat we get here is, why isn't the coalition protecting the civilians in ajdabiya from the rebels? so that's the kind of rhetoric and logic, the logic that this government is stuck in, so you can see they're really stuck in this brain set, which mean they're not going to let hold o. ajdabiya. >> that interview i had with general carter ham, that interview will air. that's coming up later this hour and the next hour here in "the situation room." nic is in tripoli for us. aslet's go to the eastern part libya right now for more on what the rebels are trying to do in their effort to defeat gadhafi. reza sayah is in benghazi for us. lots of military action for us
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today. what are you seeing where you are, reza? >> reporter: well, i think the most urgent and volatile situation remains in a strategically critical city of ajdabiya. new developments today in that city. a british military official telling cnn the british fighter jets targeted and destroyed libyan tanks that had been th city.t a key destruction of these tanks, the rebel forces that are trying to move into the city. also, we're getting a lot of disturbing accounts over the past couple of days about tactics, allegedly used by gadhafi loyalists against the civilians. one witness telling cnn that on his way out of tow in ajdabiya, he saw several bodies on the streets, bodies that no one dared to collect. other people saying gadhafi loyalists going house to house, taking suspected rebel fighters, young men, taking them to w knows where. it's these types of stories, witness accounts, wolf, tar getting the opposition to raise
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the volume, toget the international community to step up to help. >> you had a chance to speak with some people inaf benghazi after friday prayers today. what did they say to you? >> well, theye well aware that nato is now taking over leadership of this operation, but i think like most people, they're not clear on what this means. they're not clear on what this means for the complexion of this operation. and frankly, if you lteno nato officials, heads of western states that are involved in this military intervention, they're not really clear on where this is going either. they say on one hand, they're going to maintain the t no-fly zone, not clear what it means for air strikes on ground targets, but one thing thats certain, this opposition not only wants this military operation to stay in tact, they want it expanded. over and overagain, we heard today, opposition supporters saying, we want weapons, we want weapons, more powerful weapons to take on the gadhafi
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forces. and many people even asking for foots on the ground, soldiers to come into libya. they don't want an invasion, they don't want an occupation, but they say, give us soldiers so we can defeat gadhafi forces and then they can leave. it's nothing that's ever been mentioned by nato officials or western states, but i think it's important to pass along that many people here calling for troops on the ground. >> well, tell them thatin gener creator ham in the interview that's about to air here in "the situation room" is making it clear, no u.s. troops on the ground, no u.s. arms forhe rebels. a lot of nos. 'll be precise and you'll see it coming up in the interview. i think your -- the people in benghazi where you are, reza, will want to watch this interview with general carter ham. that's cup. reza sayah is in benghazi for us. general creator ham is the commander, at least so far, until nato takes complete control of the u.s.-led operation in libya. he'll take us inside nato's commanngd role and all the thin
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thn e coalition is ready to do d is not ready to do to help the civilians in libya. stanby for my interview with general carter ham. stuttgart, usfrom germany. also, anti-government protests in syria, they're growing bigger and bigger and more deadly. we'll take a closer look at the danger that syria will be the next middle east domino to fall. what that could mean for the people in syria and innedeed th region and world. and experts say the most extreme example of a nuclear plant meltdown, that would be a breach to the reactor core. and guess what, it could be happening right now in japan. we'll go there live. [ horse whinny ]
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♪ 70's era music sfx: tires squealing vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more onar insurance. scene of brutal new devastations in syria today, where dozens of people ha been killed. the u.n. now says the situation there has worsened, quote, considerably over the past week alone. this is new video coming i to cnn of an anti-govnment protest just outside a mque today. we want toe caution, we can't independently confirm its authenticity. let's bring in cnn's hala gorani. she's joining us from the cnn center with more. we've both been watching syria for a long time. this is a major new development. what's your immediate reaction? what's your take on what's going on when you see these demonstrations and the government crackdown that follows?
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>> well, we spoke to witnesses in syria today, wolf. we spoke to human rights activists in damascus. the big question yesterday when the presidential adviser came on national television and spoke to reporters and to the weorld, promising reform, the big question was,mo will the denstrations thatave been centered in the south so far spread outside of the southern province of daraa? well, they have. the demonstrations have been small, butn we've seen some vido of protestscu in damascus, in hama. we've seen what you're seeing there is a demonstration today in daraa, where 25 people, we understand, according to witnesses, he been khis le wolf. so this is what's significant, in a country that doesn't have a a ture of public protest and repressive regime that does not tolerate open criticism of the leadership, we're seeing demonstr sats still go out on to the streets and ask for change. >> i remember in the early '80s when there was a massive dems in hama in that city in syria.
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the father, he cracked down brutally on those demonstrations m. the muslim brotherhood very much involved in that. the question is hethis. is the son likely to follow in his father's footsteps in slaughtering thousands of people? >> well, i think the environment is different and i think the man is different from his father. now the eyes of the world, regardless of the fact that journalists aren't easily given visas to enter syria, are on the country. we're seeing -- the video we're seeing today is video we wouldn't are seen in 1982 when the hamaassae happened. some people are estimating up to 40,000 protesters and opposition figures, including many civilians, were killed in that crackdown. so i think it's going to be very difficult for any leader to go ahead and do something as repressive and asn brutal as wt happened in the early '80s. that said, even after having promised reforin this country, wolf, the government and secuty forces in daraa and
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other parts of syria still crack town, and 25 people at the very least were killed dtoay. and as you know, wolf, what happens in syria is very important regionally. it's important with regards to israel, with any peace deal that happens. no comprehensive deal can really be struck without syria. it's imliportant with regards t the alliance this country still has with iran, with hezbollah, with lebanon. so its tentacles are in many groups and many places in thens region. what happens there indicates what happens to the entire region. >> we'll be watching it very , closely. hala, thanks very much. in neighboring jorda rock-flowing and swinging sticks as protesters pushing for change clashed with pro-government loyalists. more than 100 people were damaged. demonstrators vow the so-called sit-in will continue until their dends are met. people close to the lace tell cnn king abdullah is working to theto a potical unrest into an opportunity for form. we're watching jor tan as well.
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a mass exodus from ivy coast in the wake of escalating violence and new fears of war. our lisa sylvester is monitoring that, some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on, lisa? >> hi, there, wolf. the u.n. agency says almost 1 million resident have said forced to flee the country's capital city and scores more uprooted. there's been bitter turmoil in the west african nation se the november elections when the incumbent president refused to cede power. more than 40 people have been killed in those clashes. and updated economic data reday from the last quarter of 2010, and the numbers are looking pretty good. the economy grew a bit faster than previously thought. gross domestic product was revised upward to a higher annual growth rate of 3.1%. and corporate profits grew more than 9.5%, about twice what was expected. economists say that's a positive sign for this year. the air traffic controller suspended for failing to respond to two planeseading into
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washington's reagan national airport now admits he fell asleep on duty. the national transportation safety board says he was working his fourth straight overnight shift wey gh when the incident occurred. beth flights landed safely despite the lack of communication. w vernment investigation is now under way. and you know the phra se, "omg, well, it's not just a cool education presentation anymore, it's now officially part of the english language. the phrase joins "fyi," for your informatio information, and "lol," laughing out loud as the newest words to be added to the oxord-english dictionary. >> they alsodded the heart -- i heart you, i love you, just the heart -- you know, without even a letter, that's now a word
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in the dictionary. >> they're going tveha new tweeting dictionary soon. >> i wonder if "tweet" has been admitted into that dictionary yet. good question. >> let's find out. >> should be. a potentially ominous development in the race to prevent a complete nuclear meltdown in japan. the details, coming up. we're going there. plus, much more of my interview with a top u.s. military commander overseeing the operation in libya, just ahead. he tells me whether the goal of the n isssioo take out gadhafi. wrench? wrench.
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nuclear experts in japan are trying to confirmth if one of their worst fears is happening right now. there's evidence that a reactor at the troubled fukushima power plant may be leaking from its core. could be a very dangerous development in the race to prevent radiation contamination on a large scale. brian todd is here to explain what's going on. and it's pretty frightening, when you think of that worst-case fear. >> it is, wolf. the japanese ime minister had an ominous quote about that. earlier toda the situation at the fukushima plant is, quote, still very grave and serious. he plant suspect that a breach of the core of the most troubled reactor has occurred there, but they're not completely certain that the latest leak actually came from the core. still, this could be the most serious setback yet in the fight to prevent a complete meltwn. a crisis that'snc raised new
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concerns virtually every day goes to another level. in the number three reactor at the fukushima nuclear power plant, authorities say there was likely a breach in the crucial containment vessel, which protects the core of the reactor. they say contaminated water from that vessel probably seeped out and employees working ppnear th site stepped into water that had 10,000 times the amount of radiation typical for a nuclear plant. >> i think it is more likely that the wat came from the treactor core. as to the root of the leakage, we are yet to know. >> reporter: other significantly contaminated water has ao been detected in the number reactor. for okperspective, we spok with nuclear expert, james acton. i asked him specifically about the contamination from the number three reactor, which has been the most troubled. >> if this isac areh in the core, how serious is this? >> well, this is the most extreme event of a meltdown, if there has been a breach in the core. and the radioactive material in the core woulde now be seeping out of the pressure vessel. reporter: but acton makes
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clear, we don't yet know if that containmt vessel has gotten cracked or not. that's because there are several potentl sources where the contaminated water could have come from. experts say each of the reactors here at fukushima has a turbin hall next to it. i'll show you a diagram. experts say the workers who wer contaminated were probably working here i a t turbine hall next to reactor number three. these are water and steam lines going into and coming out of the reactor core and the containment vessel. experts say the leak could have come from the core itself or it could have come from one of these water lines going into or out of the containment vessel and it could have gone down here. that would be serious, they say, but noz as potentially serious as it would be if the water came from the core itself. >> acton says it's unlikely we'll see radiation releas on the scale of the 1986 chernobyl disaster. why do you think this would not be nearly as bad as chernobyl? >> well, what we saw at chernobyl was an explosion in
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the core of the reactor itself. and that explosion caused both a large quantity of radiation to be released and it caused that radiation to be released over a large area. i think it is very unlikely there will be a similar explosion at fukushima, and without that explosion, the amount of radiation released and the area over which it will be releed is likely to be smaller, significantly, than chernobyl. >> but one thing that makes this more concerning than chernobyl is the type of fuel thatak leaking out. experts say the fuel coming frof this reactor at fukushima is a combination of uranium and plutonm, considered to be more dangerous than the pure uranium fuel used in chernobyl and other reactors, wolf. another thing theye got to watch for here. >> those three workers that stepped in that contaminated water, 10,000 is the normal rate of radiation. the burns that they sustained, how serious are they wm. well, they've been . hospitalized. two have more serious burns than the other. an expert say that the beta rays given by this kind of
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radioactive material don't penetrate to the skin so deeply. one expert said it's kind of akin to a bad sunburn. so the immediate burns aren't so serious, but the real danger they face, of course, the carcinogens, the contamination mayce trigger some cancer in the mens later in their lives. another piece of evidence that these workers going in there are doing this at greatpersonal risk. >> brian todd just came back from almost two weeks in japan watching this story, you'll stay in touch with us. thanks very much. we'll go live to japan for more on the situation at that crippled nuclear power plant. nato righ now preparing tyke on a broader command role in libya. the top u.s. general is making it clear to me that there are limits to what the u.s. and coalition forces will do. my interview with u.s. general carter ham, here in "the situation room," that comes up next. >> announcer: this past year alone there's been a 67% spike in companiesmbracing the cloud-- big clouds, small ones, public, private, even hybrid. your data and ps must move
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just 24 hours ago, right here in "the situation room," the nato secretary generalme to me exclusively that the alliance was set to take over command of the no-fly zone over w libya. today, we have confirmation that nato is moving forward with a
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broader cod role. and joining us now from stuttgart, germany, general carter ham. hefo the commander of u.s. forces now serving over libya. he's the commander of themili u military's africa command, only been in business f a couple of weeks. you got your hand full, general ham. thanks very much for joining us. >> well, thank you for having me, wolf. >> youe still in command of the u.s. mission over libya, is that right? >> that's correct. >> when does that change? when does nato take over? >> well, nato has already taken over one piece, which is the arms embargo. that's principally maritime. we expect that nato will take ov the no-fly zone this weekend. and then the next piece, the third and final piece, is the mission to protect civilians. nato -- it is my understanding that nato has agreed to that in principle and will this weekend decide on the procedures and
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timing of accepting that mission. but i think that will probably occur in the very near future. >> so when nato takes over command of everything, assuming that happens, and it's stl an assumption right now, what is your job and the job of the u.s. military's africa command? >> well, libya is one of the 53 countries in africa for which this command is responsible. so we still have a decided inrest in security matters in libya. but once nato assumes responsibility forhoseth missions, then i would have -- i would no longere have a direct command authority relationship with the forces engaged in nato operations. >> do you have a clear understanding, general, of what the mission is in libya right now? >> i do. it is threefold. it is execute the arms embargo, it isn execute a no-fly zone, ad it is to p.tect civilians. >> is it also to get rid of
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gadhafi? >> it is not. it is very specifically not that mission. >> why not? since the president has repeatedly said that the u.s. policy is that gadhafi must go. >> it is, indeed, u.s. policy that the current leader of libya should no longer be that leader and that he has lost legitimacy. but it is also been a determination that we will not seek to achieve that policy end through military means. >> but you work for the president of the united states. he's thecommander in chief. you report to the president, and if he says gdhafi, must go, isn't it your responsibility to implement that policy? >> it is the policy. but the president has also stated very clearly to me and to others that we will not seek to achieve that policy goal through military means. >> how will the u.s. achieve that policy goal? >> well, i think by other ways.
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by economic sanctions, certainly by diplomatic efforts. there is -- there are a number of ways that the internation community can apply pressure on the current leader in libya. but we -- but specifically, to me, it is not a mission to cause regime change in nlibya. >> so no regime chge as far as your mission is concerned, even though the president has go.atedly said gadhafi must so it's still a little vague in my mind. how will you know success in libya when it occurs? >> well, i think we have achieved already a large degree of success. we do have an arms embargo, we do have a no-fly zone, and we have halted a very serious assault by libyan regime forces toward the city of benghazi. i don't know howany people we saved in doing wethat, but i kn we saved some. we have an ongoing effort to
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where we see regime forces attacking civilians, that we take military action to prevent that, to the degree that we can. and we have had some success. have we had complete success? no. and it breaks my hear tt that that's the situation that we're in. ecause we find these regime forces taking cover inside builtup areas where they know because of our concern for civilian casualties that this is measure of success. a second part of a mission is to -- is, indeed, to transition this to nato and we're preparing -- we have transitioned one part of the mission. and i think in the coming days, we'll transition the other parts of the mission and we'll do tham seamlessly. >> will nato do what the u.s., the british, the french, the canadians have already been
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doing, go aft libyan ground forces, attack them from the air? >> it is my understanding that nato has agreed in from principle to accept that mission. and in the coming days,he tdey' decide exactly how and when they want to execute that mission. t it's important to remember th the united states is a nato member. we participate in those discussihoon a i'm confident that those discussions will, indeed, end with a satisfactory solution for nato to accept this mission. >> but in the meantime, until nato is fully on board for that part of the mission, the u.s. and the others will continue to pound libyan ground forces that may endanger civilians. is that right? >> until i am relieved of this mission, that's our mission -- my mission is to protect cilians. and we will take actions consistent with our imperatives of being precise, being very
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discreet. >> much me of the interview coming up with general ham. i'll specifically ask him whether the u.s. mission also includes if they getin actionab telligence with the u.s. and its partners go ahead and either caure or kill gadhafi. much more of the interview coming up at the top of the hour. you'll want to hear and see this. also, new information about alleged abuse and torture of protestersn egypt even after the fall of the embattled leader, hosni mubarak. we'll have the details. ivan watson is in id airo. plus, inse a nuclear rer here in the united states, much like the one damaged in the japan earthquake and tsunami. is it prepared for the same kind of emergency? and boston-born actress eleeza duchco raised $30,000 for her 30th birthday all for children in uganda. she tells us about the trip that prompted her to get involved in
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this "impact your world" >hworld". >> i got involved through my mother. we had gone to uganda together to meet and hear thef stories o rmer child soldiers. through sharing stories, there's that chance oenf resovy. and our center hopes to use things like film and art therapy to help these children rehabilitate and reintegrate into their communities. join the movement, impact your world, what does it take to fly? it takes knowing we have our work cut out for us. but if you run before the wind you can't take off. you've got to turn into it. the thing you push against lifts you up. so, every challenge is a chancen in this crazy rld of no liquids and route cancellations someone still has the passenger's back.
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president obama is going to new lengths to explain the u.s. military mission in libya. he held a conference call with congssioleaders todayce to address concerns about the command structure, its costs, and the consequences. the white house press secretary, jay carney, says the president will speak to the nation about libya, quote, in theery near future. let's talk about this with our senior political analyst, gloria borg. he's got a tough mission right now, to explain the mission, in effect. because there's a lot of confusion out there. >> and that's what he tried to do in this phone call today. i was told by a couple of sources that republicans pushed him very hard, republican leaders on the scopeth of the mission and the end game of e mission. i was also told that the president said that it is not
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the goal of the coalition to militarily remove gadhafi from power kand that means one way o another, ie, kill him. and that while this satisfied some democrats felt oka thatth were okay with the way that the president described this, that we saw that speaker boehner released a statement saying that he was not satisfied and that id -- and he said, quote, much more needs t to be done to provd clarity, particularly to the american people on the military objective in libya. that's from a spokesman for the speaker. >> the confusion arises from what he has repeatedly said. that gadhafi must go. which nse change. there's going to be a new regime. >>bsol theuty, absolutely. >> but the military mission is not designed to removeadhafi from office. >> right. the military mission is a humanitarian effort. ft. has said that the united states goal is to have gadhafi leave. and there is confusion there. but, of course, the president came out in march and said that gadhafi must go, and that has
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been problematic for him. because ttihe coalition of whic he is a part says, no, that'se not the goal, although we'd like to see gadhafi gone, obviously. >> well, we'll see how he tries to implementrihe u.s. policy of getting rid of gadhafi if the military is staying out of it. >> and there's another problem here, which is how does the president communicate this to the american people? i spoke with somema people toda who says, maybe, maybe tomorrow's radio address will be the time that we will hear from the president on this. but he hasn't really ratchet this up and make this seelike a crisis for this country. that we're leading anotr intervention into a middle eastern country, so he's trying to walk a fine line here, wolf, with mixed success. >> i think it's fair to say there is a crisis right now and he needs to speak to the american people and explain what's going on. >> he does, and he will tomorrow. >> we'll carry it whenever he does. a check of the day's other top stories, coming up. and then, does the united states
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plan to arm the rebels in m lib, we'll haveuch more of my interview with the top u.s. military commander of the libyan mission. plus, we've seen the damaged nuclear reactor in japan. we'll take you to a similarhe reactor in alabama. here'she question, is the u.s. prepared to handle a nuclear emergey?nc ten people are going n the chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac of their choice. push your onstar button d anyou could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer. ♪ just push your blue button and tell the advisor you want to enter the onstar push on sweepstakes. ♪ but do it soon. no purchase necessary. see rules at to enter without a blue onstar button.
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she's monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa? >> hi, wolf. well, the country's police agency now says more than 10,000 people have been killed and more than17,000 missing. ose numbers are expected to climb as rescuers continue to search the rubble. in some areas,cl roads are beginning to be cleared and electricity lines restored, but major building reconstruction has yet to begin. more than 25,000 buildings were washed away in that disaster. canada's house of commons has voted in favor of a o-confidence resolution to dissolve the conservative government of prime minister stephen harper. elections will be held to form a new government. the leader of the liberal par says the government has not provided lawmakers with requested information on its spending plans. the govnment's house lder calls the motion ill-conceived. and there is a new plan in the works to keepans cool during the 2022 world cup in
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qatar and it invoes giant flying saucers. researchers are developing artificially remote-controlled clouds made of high-tech material with the potential to drop temperatures by 10 degrees. temperatures in qatar typically soar to triple digits during the summer, so they have a little bit of time. this is not until 2022,ut they're working onhat technology right now, wolf. >> looking forward to it, wolf. it will be a lot of fun. i've bn to qatar. have you? >> i have not be. you've been all around the world. >> i was in the world cup games in south africa. ll look forward to going to qatar for the world cup, especially with those artificial clouds. lisa, thanks very much. is the u.s. prepared for a nuclear emergency the likes of wh we're seeinge in japan?id we're taking you inside a similar reactor in alabama. and much more of my interview with a top u.s. military commander of t operation in libya. here's the question, is he ordered to take out gadhafi if he got the proper intelligence? stand by for his answer.
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as the japan nuclear crisis pls out, cnn is investigating whether this country could handle that kind of an emergency. mo americans who live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant think the answer is no. in our new cnn research opinion poll, 58% surveyed say they don't think the local officials could handle the situation if thelosest nuclear plant had severe damage. 42% think it's likely the local nuclear power plant would suffer damage that would endanger their family. david mattingly is over a nuclear plant in alabama that's similar to the one?
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japan. david is joining us now wh more on what he's seeing. >> it's operated by the tennessee valley authority. it's similar in design to the plant in japan that it creates steam to turn the turbine and generate the electricity. that's where the similarity ends in aot of respects. right now they're in damage control mode trying to avert a public crisis towards nuclear power. they gave us extraordinary access to the plant. they took a group of reporters through there to show us what sort of safety features, they have, what sort of backups they have, and the backups to the backups. specifically when looking at the japanese plant, the problem they had when the power went out, they say that couldn't happen here because the building hind me that houses the reactor, they say it's built to withstand an f-5 tornado. a direct hit from an f-5 tornado.
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they will not have been a problem keeping the backup generators going and the backup battery going in case they went down. we got a close look at a spent fuel rod pool. remember the reactor at the fukushima daiichi reactor, the water level keeps going down. now here they're saying that couldn't happen because they actually have prior hoses brought on the outside, laced through the building itself so that it can w manually pumpater back into the pool if the water level starts to go down. this entire time the one message they keep driving home is this is going to be a lot safer. and you donee to worry after seeing what happened in japan that would not happen here. >> you can never say positively. the japanese may have said the same thing.
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i don't believe we're going to have a 43-foot high wall of water that can hit isnt interior plant inside the state of alabama. i think those mean a big water event is highly unlikely. from a tornado standpoint, the f-sth5 ha proven to be the biggt anybody has ever sn. those are around 300 miles an hour wind type issues. i don't know of any event making me worry. >> they say the plant is designed to withstand a 6.0 earthquake and a million-year flood. but they are going back to the drawing board playing what if to see ifse there could be a worse
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disaster tn they nimagined. >> better safe than sorry. lessons learned from japan. thk you. one week to the coalition air strikes in libya, what will it take for the u.s. to declare mission accomplisind? standby for my interview with the commander of the u.s.-led operation. much more at the top of the hour. and tasty stuf we just took out the calories and stuff. so who comesp with this stuff? i do. ooh! now who wants some free stuff? [ all ] me! snapple. the best diet stuff on earth. will mat it and give you up tone-ndred dollar gift card. plus, fridayhrough turday, savecrnty-five pe rcent off all craftsman power lawn and gardene equipment, and outdoor ore. r. ses. a living, breathing intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. ♪ in here, inventory can be taught to lrn... soroducts get uted to where they're needed most.
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around the world see ypthe volution in egypt as a success story. but cnn's ivan watson shows us it's far from successful. at least not y. ♪ ♪ be>> reporter: a young egyptian singing a rebel song. ♪ in tahrir square, the epicenter st the revolution, they raised their voice in protest during 18 historic days and nights that left many egyptians full of hope. >> now we can say anythin we want. >> but look what happened to his son barely a month later, beaten, battered and scarred after egyptian soldiers detained him. the torture took four hours. they remooifed myus clothes. they used sticks, wires, ropes, hoses, whips. there was also electrocution. there wasan an officer who ould
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purposely jump in the air and la on my face with his legs. >> he was one of scores of protesters locked up. troops also arrested at least 17 women, who were kept for days at a military detament center. these women protesters were beaten given eleric shock, strip searched and forced to submit to virginity tests. one of these women was this ai 20-year-ol hairdresser. >> they made us sign statements declaring if we were virgins. >> she said she submitted under threat of electrocution. >> translator: during the test no one was standing except for a womaand amale doctor. six soldiers were standing behind us, watching the backside of the bed. i think they were there to be
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witness. so >> a spokesman said some of those jailed that night received one-year jail sentences. he denied allegations of torture or virginity tests. he said they're preparing for a new law that would make it a criminal offense. >> did you think you would see this behavior? >> no. i'm shocked. >> i thought that treatment went down with it. >> they interrogated them for hours after sheed to monitor a station during last weekend's referendum ontitutional
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reform. he was among many citizens in this debate on board a boat in the nile river. what happened to the revolution we began in tahrir square, she says. what happened to the revolution we created? ivan watson, cnn, cairo. >> and you're in "the situation room." happening now, pivotal devepments in the air and on thground in libya as nato prepares to take command of the no-fly zone. i'll talk to the american currently in charge of the overall mission, general carter hamm. he's here in "the situation room." also moammar gadhafi now under investigation for possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. we'll have details. and signs of a leak at the crippl japanese nuclear power plant. the radioactive materialhat experts fear is seeping out. moreou dangerous than just uranium. breaking news. political headlines and jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer.
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you're in "the situation room." wee following all the fast-changing developments involving libya this hour. among them, the pentagon says coalion fighter tanks took out seven libyan tanks. and the u.s. ambassador to libya says members of the gadhafi regime are reachg out to mediators to get message out. the m ambassador suggests it ma be a sign of desperation. and president obama talked about the situation by phone with congressional leaders earlier this afternoon. a spokesman for john boehner says the president needs to provide more clarity on the jective in libya and the exact tus.nare of the u.s. role. just a little while ago i spoke to the ameri can currently in charge of enforcing the no-fly zone over libya, general carter hamm. he says nato is in charge of
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enforcing the arms embargo against libya. will take over enforcement of the no-fly zone this weekend and nato agreed in principle to protect civilians starting in the next few days. here's more of my interview with general hamm. he joined us from germany. are you arming the rebels? >> no. >> why not? >> first of all, there's -- i have to authority to do that. suppthort e opposition forces. our opposition is to prevent civilian casualties. nothere's a linkage there. those who are causing civilian casualties are regime forces. when we destroy the capable of regime forces we are doing that, and there's benefit to the op cig. but we do not earpt in direct support of the opposition forces. >> and it make it sound like the u.s. and itse ptners are neutral in the civil war that's
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going on in libya. is that right? >> our mission is dictated by the u.n. security council resolution. so the agreement of the security council has given us these three missions, and think appropriately, at least to me, the most important of those is to protect civilians. and that's where we're putting our effort. not in supporting one party or the other. >> if these rebels, the opposition and civilians for that matter are being attacked by libyan snipers, what do you do about that? >> it's the toughest problem that we have. weave precise weapon systems. not nsjust u.s., but all the contributing nations. we musust bcause cautious of ca further casualties. when we see forces attacking civilians, we evaluate that very
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carefully, and if we can interject and if we can act against that threat without causing further harm to other civilians, then we will, and we have a acted with some grea t effect. but it is the most dficult set we have. we see them in built up areas and in op cigs as you say. it's a tough challenge for us. >> if you had atiable intelligence on the whereabouts of gadhafi, would you go ahead and kill himt or arrest him? >> i would not. i do not have that as a mission. i don't spend anyki time thinki about where he peis. i don't expend any of my intelligence, collection assets doing that. p it's not part of my mission. >> do you have the capability to jam libyan state television and
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radio broadcast? >> well, without getting into a illot of detail, we have pretty significant jamming capability and broadcast capability, and we are using that. >> but they're still on the air. >> well, the same way you have the capability and we're using it. that doesn't mean we can or should. doesn't nessarily mean we can do that 24 hours a day, seven days a week. we do have a capability. we are employing it. >> one capability would be to use air power to knock out the towers. that hasn't been your mission, is that what you're saying? >> no, we look at assets that facility the control. if we can target those and deastroy those without causing civilian casualties, thene will do that. and we have done that. but we are always very precise and alwaysal, ways very
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conscious about civilian casualties. >> i raise the question because some argue that those broadcast endanger civilians right now. >> as an extension of the regime's command and control, i would assess those as legitimate rgets. weave a variety of means to disrupt that. >> what kind of liaison officers do you have with the opposition? >> none. >> why not?>> >> again, it's not our mission. our mission is to protect civilians and the president has been quite clear that there will not be u.s. military boots on the ground. >> but there are civilians, u.s. diplomats and others in liaison with the opposition.
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>> there is contact, i'm not aware of anyone who is on the ground with them. >> well, the president himself said that he was naming someone to be a liaison to the opposition when i was in paris the other day with the secretary of state. she met with one of the opposition leaders herself. not a million tear dialogue. >> that's correct. >> what is next? how long is this operation in libya going to take before you declare mission accomplished? >> well, i think we have acmplished quite a bit already. we are -- we will continue until the mission transitions. we will continue to do all we can to protect civilians. that means we attack the regime forces that threaten civians. we attack the control systems that direct the forces.
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then we attack his able to sustain threats against civilians. whether am in addition, fuel or transportation systems as well.y we'll coinue in that way, as we have. and we are learning more every day. our targetingd is getting more precise and effective. we will transition this mission and protectcivilians to nato. and we'll do it, though it is a complex transition. we'll make the transition happen without any loss of momentum in the execution of the mission. >> and finally, general, seeing your officers surrounding gadhafi, do you see evidence they are defecting? >> well, there's some indication that i would tell you frankly is mostly through media reporting. there's at least some waiver. i don't see how they could be in the position and at least not question their able to continue
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to exert his command control systems, his forces. certainly there's no air force left. and all those systems that he used to repress the couldn't have bee degradesed. i have to believe in the minds of the inner circle people, there are questions arising as to whether or not this is in fact the best course of action for them. >> this is my last question, general. it's an ton for you. cnn is seen live around the world, including in libya. and officers, your military to military the officers mig be watching. gadhafi may be watching. his sons may be watching. camera.ohe t what wouldou say to them? officer to officer? >> i would say comply with the will of the international community, as outlined in the united nations security counl resolution, 1973. cease attacking civilians.
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withdraw your arms and troops for areas where they are attacking civilians. serve the people of libya and not serve the illegitimate regime. >> general ham, thank you for joining us. and all the men and women you command. >> thank you very much, wolf. >> let's talk aut what we just heard with our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence and our white house correspondent, dan lothian. now, i know you're getting more details, chris, over at the oat pentagonn in exactly we should expect to see in the next few days. walk us through this process. >> yeah, wolf, i was speaking with the coalition official, and he told me that basically the handover to nato shouldn't take more than 48 hours. he said what's going to happen is the air operation center is more than likely based in turkey. that commander will th report up to naples, where a canadian general will be running the overall buday-to-day operation. but he said what's going to happen is the coalition
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commanders have to brief their nato counterparts, tell them what's been going on, what they have the at their disposal. and what needs to happen going forward. and then the new nato command would need about the 48 hours to get those iefings, and to write their set of orders. >> you speak to white house officials all the time when general ham says he's not authorized to go after gadhafi, ehe's not authorized to arm the rebels, he's not authorized to talk to the rebels for that matter, the president of the united states repeatedly says the u.s. strategy, the u.s. policy is to get rid of gadhaf regime changes, if you will. how are they explaining that contradiction right there. >> that's right. well, the mission of enforcing the no-fly zone is separate from what the objective is. you point out the president and other senior officials in the administration have said that it is their desire to see them
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leave. the question is how will that happen. today jay carney told me, listen, we don't have a crystal ball. we can't predict what the future will bring. but what they hope to do, aside from going after him which isni administration has made clear they have no plans to try to assassinate him. what they hope to do is really put pressure on gadhafi himself. or put pressure on those around him so they will coax him strongly to leave, essentially isolate him. it will be interesting if that can happen. gadhafi has dug his heels in and has no plans on leaving soon. >> you're talking to them all the time at the pentagon. the sanctions, all the effort was in business for 12 years against saddam hussein in iraq.
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do they see themselves being told youave to fight with one arm tied behind your back right now? >> well, they certainly -- everybody i talked to is hoping he doesn't come near that. ne's inresting, wolf. yesterday i believe jay car.sne said he saw the u.s. role as one of support and assist. but the message we're getg from the battlefield today is that, while, yes, u.s. military is pret wtyuch handed off the who no-fly mission, the simple mission of patrolling the skies the actual mission of striking targets on the ground. more than half are still b u.s. jets. just today more of his tanks and more of his forces are on the ground. they're talking about bringing l in possibly helicopters. drones, planes that n fly at low altitudes.. at night. those would be specifically designed to go after ground
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forces. the attacking role seems to be very much in play here. >> chris lawrence at the pentagon, thank you very much. i suspect we'll hear lots more from the american president in theys next few days about what' going on in libya. we also want to check in witter our reporters on the ground, including reza sayah in benghazi. we're also going to syria. the latest arab country rocked by unrest. zens of people reported killed today. an ominous new developments at thent crippled nuclear power plt in japan. is it leaking something more dangerous than uranium? host: could switching to geico really save you
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i had no idea the guy in front of me had stopped short. but my car did. -my car did. -thankfully, my mercedes did. [ male announcer ] a world you can't predict... demands a car you can trust. the e-class. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financi service tensions are boiling over in libya and syria. dozens of people are reported dead in the southn city of daa. they showed images in support of the president ba.,em against the government in in
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what was dubbed a day ofe. departure. meanwhile, we're following reports of major, major military action today in the libyan town of ajdabiya. reza sayahsn tracking the situation for us. what are you hearing from rebel forc, reza? >> reporter: yeah, a lot of activity in this city viewed as the dividing line between the eastern front controlled by the opposition and the western forces. mostly controlled by gadhafi forces. rebel fighters over the past several days have tried to get in the key city. they've been relled by tank units.ey get help from the brit airportsnd a british military officials sayingri the british jets have targeted and destroyed several tanks that have taken aim at the city. this could help the rebel forces
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to answer the city. over the past 24 hours a lot of disturbing witness accounts of tactics. terrorized a sometime kill civilians. one witness said as he was exiting the city, he saw bodies in the streets. people werefraido recover these. another saying gadhafi soldiers and loyalists going house to house, going inside, taking young men and taking suspected fighters. these are the stories having the opposition call out for the international community to step up the efforts to come in with more help. >> you heard general carter ham say the u.s. and nato, the coalition is not going to arm the rebels.wo there won't even be a militaryh liaison officer to that. how do they respond when they
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hear that? i know you spoke to a lot of fr them after friday prayers in benghazi. >>er >> reporter: well, that's going toe disappointing to opposition and its leadership. they're well aware that this operation will be led by the coalition, by nato right now. but they're not clear on what it means. they're not clear on whether it's going to continue to be aggressive. whether there will be a deescalation of the intensity. it's important to know the stated goal is to continue to wage war with the gadhafi forc s in what they say they need is better, more powerful weapons to take on the gadhafi mitary. in some opposition supporters, not the leadership, not opposition officials. but some supporters are also saying give us troops on the ground. we don't want an occupation. we don't want an invasion. we foreign soldier to come here, help us in toppling the regime and then they can leave.
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at doesn't square with what wee hearing from nato officials and heads of western states involved in the operation. so, wolf, it's going to be s ve interesting toee how things move forward. >> what i'm hearing is the only arms they're getting, the only ammunition, spare parts are from other arab countries who may be supporting the rebels. but not from the u.s. or t coalition partners or nato. for that matter. i wonder if you know what it is. he the are some rumors that reps are coming in from the east. the egyptian/lianri border. we have not verified that. there's no indication here that the rebel fighters now have new apons, n perful weapons. it'sif still the same. if they're coming in, they haven't ended up in the hands of these rebel fighters. and the fact that they're still calling for them perhaps is an indication that thos rumors aren't true, wolf.
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>> reza sayah in benghazi for us. thank you very much. another american automaker feeling the impact from japan. details on what ford i telling dealers. standby. and wh schools scored a commencement address from the first lady of the united states. wrench? wrench.
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>> what's going on, lisa sylvester? >> former u.s. president jimmy carter will travel to cuba monday for a three-day visit. carter will meet with cuban president raul castro to discuss how to improve relations between the two countries. no word on if he'll meet with his more notorious brother fidel. he last visited cuba back in 2002. he also plans to visit north korea in the nr fu. the ford matter company is out of the red and into the black. the automake is asking dealers not order new dealers in red or black they're still scrambling to get back online after the earthquake and tsunami. the schools which scored a
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szmmencement address from msz obama are the university of northern iowa and the middle high school. she'll speak to them one day before the commission as second lieutenants in the army. in the next hour we were talking about how new words like omg, lol, laughin out loud, they are now part of the official oxford english dictionary. you asked about tweet, as in the context of twitter, it is not in the dictionary. >> it will be next year for sure. >> i thinkt will. >> i'm tweeting, you're tweeting. we're all tweeting. >> that's one ofthe things they take into consideration. reactor three has been the biggest worry at the daiichi nuclear plant for two weeks. now they admit one of the fears could soon be realize and you don't have to be a
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the war in libya, the civil war in libya, now the u.s., nato allies and others deeply involved in what's gog on. let's go to dan lothia he has the latest for us. dan, the president of the united states, what's going on. >> we're hearing at the whit house the president on monday at 7:30 at national defense university will make an address to the nation abou the mission in libya. he's getting criticism about not being clear enough about what the american strategy will be, what is the cost of the mission, and of course what is the new role that the.s . will be engaged in phase two of the mission in libya. now we're hearing from the white house again that the president
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will indeed be speaking to the nation at p7:30 p.m. on monday evening. >> he's been under a lot of pressure to explain, exactly, the nature of the u.s. mission. i know he spent an hour, what, in the white house situation room meeting with congressional leaders, speaking with them on the phone, answering their questiontoday about what's going on? >> that's right. the president did spend about an hour with these lawmakers. some of them were inside the sihetion room. others were joining the meeting by phone. and, of course, the big concern is that they feel they have not been properly consulted. the white house has laid out a time line sayi that dating back to february 28th that curity -- intelligence officials have been briefing house members. there have been a number of other briefings. what the lawmakers are saying, there's a difference between the briefing, being informed about the situation and then being consulted, a chance to get irquestions asked and have thei ideas implemented. today the prident did take questions, but still some
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lawmakers don't believe the president has done enough to fully inform them about the mission in libya, wolf. >> thank you very much, dan. on tuesday the secretary of state will be in london meeting with the allies about what's going on in libya. on wednesday, the seetary of state, the secretary of defense, the chairman will be briefing members of congress blind closed doors. watch cnn all of next week and all of this week for continuing coverage. we'll have live coverage of the president's address to the nation monday night at 7:30 p.m. eastern here on cnn. other news we're following including important news inan japan. an ominous development. there's growing concern that th containment vessel iide one of the reactors at that crippled nuclear power plant may be leaking. and this reactor isn't fueled just by uranium, but by a much more ngerous mix of uranium and plutonium. more now from martin savage in tokyo. >> reporter: thed japanese
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government said three workers contaminated while trying to lay a new power cae in erreactor number three have been standing in water 10,000 times the radiation normally found there. at a news conference, the director of the safety agencyat said that could indicate the reactor has a leak. two employees had water splash on exposed skin. they were taken to the hospital for treatment. today all three were moved to a special raid logical institute for observation. it raises concerns of possible safety procedures. we attempted to ask the officials, the operators of the nuclear plant, three basic questions. one, why didn't they know the radiation levels were high before they went in? why weren't they wearing proper suits? and three, why didn't they leave when radiation alarms sounded? >> the official would only say he didn't know or they were still investigating. alsoriday authorities began
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quietly expanding the voluntary evacuation zone around the fukushima daiichi te by another ten kilometers, or more than six miles. they deny it was because of the possible leak. and as that evacuation area continues to grow, so does the list of prodts being banned from the prefectures around the nuclear facility. farpers in the area, because it's some of the most productive farmland in the country is worried about the livelihood. the government says we'll reimburse you, but it could be for quite some time. the radtion goes on for 30 yes. >> marty savage in tokyo. thank you. let's get more on the disturbing development. chad myers is here to explain what's going on inside this reactor. it's a little come plek complex. but it's very significant. >> it is sigficant. and we'll know more in a few hours. the officials took the water that the men were stathnding in and they took it for testing.
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why do we care? we don't care how much radiation. we care what isotopes are in the water, because then the dna basically of that water will tell officials where the water came from. is there or was there, i guess it's still there, a break in the reactor core somewhere? now there are also many, many go types that go from the core all the way to the turbine room. the turbine room, found h theme basement, is where these men were. maybe there's a leak in a pipe somewhere. but wolf, it doesn't really matter where the leak is. the power, if the had ration in the water was in contact or was partly core water for a while before it,as pushed out, we have ale bigger problem. the other poibility is the water may have, when they used e fire engines, and they tried into the ent
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fuel rod puls up here after they are used, they tech them out and put them there to cool down for years. the water may have come out and th gone down. still in contact with the radiator rods. we'll ow all of this. all of this speculation will be over in a couple of hours when they tell us where that water came from. >> we'll be watching closely together with you, chad. thank you. we're going back to libya in just a moment. the government was trying to show us cnn's nic robertson one thing, but he found something entirely different. standby. at the top of the hour on john king usa, why some lay makmake lawmakers briefed by president obama are not happy. ord "unlimi" in the dictionary. nowhere in the definition did i see words like... "metering," "overage," or "throttling"... which is code for slowing you down.
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sometimes showing reporters what it wants them to seeat i't necessarily all that easy. i spoke habit that with cnn's nic robertson about one government sponsored trip. joining us from tripoli, nic robertson. the libyan government took you on another tour today. what did you see? >> reporter: it's interesting,
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wolf. what today took us to see wasn't the most interesting part of the journey. they took us to the eastern outskirtof the city to show us civilian casualties. they couldn't findny civilian casualties there. it appeared a missile or rocket had hit the farmland around the farmhouses. but on the way it was very interesting. we passed a couple of government military come pleks here. both had smoke coming out f of we will see them damage and destroy buildings. saw it just along from one of those bases. this control surface and missiles. the radar itself was destroyed. we also saw that gadhafi still has some of his air defense capability and is hiding it. they were hidden behind a sand dune, dug in the side of the road. right on the st from theio
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coaln aircraft. a portable surface to air missile system being hidden, hiding it underneath the tree. clearly gadhafi is still maintaining some capability to shoot at coalition aircraft flying over here, wolf. >> what do you know about the reports that gadhafi is arming be-called volunteers to go ahead and fight the rebels as opposed to regar military men? >> reporter: what gadhafi has been doing is giving weapons to tribes. tribes that are loyal to him. me of them to the military in the country. and it seems that what he is embarking on doing here is doing all the tribes loyal to him. the army gets beaten down, beaten back fails him in some
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way that he can call on the tribes to pull them into hte fight. to fight the rebels they were trying to advance on the capitol. satever the scenario is that he envisions could happen. this wld be a fail safe for him if thee army can't hold the land that he wants them to hold, wolf. >> nick, be careful over there. nic robertson in tripoli, thank you. while rebels fight for their country, libyan civilians are paying the price for the war for freedom. many would welcome liberty. others just want a chance to go back home. and could libya's leader face possible war crimes trial? one prosecutor has an eye o moammar gadhafi. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." i'm robert shapiro.
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[ female announcer ] ask the doctor about your loved one trying the exelon patch. visit to learn more. coalition war planes could be hrd all over the town today. listen to this.rc there was alsoierce fighting on the ground. and residents are fleei to the countryside where conditions are harsh. cnn's arwa damon is joining us from benghazi with more. arwa, tell us what you saw today. >> reporter: well, wolf, it's really quite heartbreaking. we met a little boy, 12 years old, his name is mahmoud. we are speaking with hist fath about what they experienced. we asked if he was scared. he saiyes, in a perfectly
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normal voice but then all of the sudden hed cradled his head in his arm, and he was trying to hide the fact that he was crying. he was that traumatized by what he had gone through, his father said. this particular family fled a.j. dab ya three days ago because of the i ntense fighting. they were telling us gadhafi's forces were firing their weapons, firing tanks at civilians at their residences as they were driving up they described the streets stwn with bodies that no one was able to recover because anyone who approached them would get shot at. this entire area outside offa ajdabiya. they have no water, no electricity. these tents a very basic. some made out of tree branches and shrubs. people telling us they don't want to leave this area, wolf.
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they don't want to go to benghazi and set up a temporary housing with family because they believe every nit when theyo to sleep that somehow when they wake up the next morning, gadhafi's forces will have been defeate defeated, and they can go home. >> they're confident in the end, whether itakes days, weeks, months, in the end they will succeed. gadhafi will be defeated? >> reporter: they're confident in that, wolf. and they're also clinging to that. becausat the end of the day, psychologically speaking, they have to. they've been through so much already. and they do realize tt if somehow this entire effort to topple gadhafi fails and he regains control over the country, thatar massacre everyby is warning about cou become a reality once again. that w hy they're toughing it out in the conditions.
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plus, they don't want to move that far away from their homes, from ajdabiya. it's been terrifying f the residents there. we were speaking with a woman telling us how the neighbors, the young men living in the house next door were taken out by gadhafi's forces. they disappeared. no onehe knows where they went. gadhafi's troops were parading up and down the streets, encouragin residents to come out, and en firing on them. then there's a very disturbing story that we only hear in whispers, and that is of women being raped and so everybody really out there waiting, hoping, braving the harsh weather. it's incredibly cool here at night because they want to be able to go hom ge. they do so hope it's going to be on, wolf. >> let hope for the best. arwa, thanks very much for your excellent reporting. all of our reporters, she's
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doing a fabulous job. moammar gadhafi showed he'll go to great length to keep power in libya. one prosecutor said he's certaiy crossed the line and should pay the price. and imagin e watching a tornado pass over your house. a twister that touched down in pennsylvania caught on tape. >> we go a twister! do you see that twister? oh my god! he wanted a curriculum designed to meet market needs, with faculty who brought real-world perspective on where the business world was headed and the practical experience to help him make an impact. my name is sean blankenship, i'm making the electric car more accessible, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] learn more about the school of business
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moammar gadhafi is the subject of an veinternational investigatn looking into war s crimes. lisa sylvester is here with the if the u.n. security council referred thease to the criminal court at the haig, and i spoke to the prosecutor this afternoon. he td me right now, they have enough evidence to present a
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strong case that crimes against hursty o were committed in the first days of the libyan conflict. the question though is whether or not charges will be brought against moammar gadhafi and his sons. this video purportedly taken on the 15th shows protesters gather in the libya. then sirens. and shots being fired. it is another of a string of videos posted on sites like youtube, videos that cannot b b verified by cnn but have attracted the attention of human rights groups. >> i am the prosecutor of the international criminal court. there are international criminal
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court is now investigating if moammar gadhafi and hiso libyan regime have committed war crimes. the court's techief prosecutor tells cnn, he is focussing on seven specific incidents. >> i am 100% surehat theto will be enough evidence to present strong case on the investigation very soon. we have to bae confident that w have a strong case. thessue now is how to link this with authorities. who will organize this? who gave the instructions to commit that? that is our current investigation focus. >> reporter: senator john mccain, rankingna member on the senate armed services committee, has come out saying any charges are warranted. >> his forces have tried to repress the anti-gadhafi rebels with the worst, most outrageous ls brutality and committing these crimes against his own people have certainly
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shown evidence that he has committed war crimes. >> reporter: under article 7 of the statute, crimes include murder, extermination, torture and rape as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population. >> most importantly, a war crime has to be a serious crime agnst civilians with intent. that is, that the perpetrator knew or had reason to know that his actions would have such a terrible impact on the civilian population. >> reporr: it isot just the libyan regime under investigation. the international criminal court is also looking at the actions of the rebels. if rebel forces deliberately target civilians,ld they cld also face criminal charges. the chief prosecutor will address the u.n. security council on may 4th. the prosecutor will present his case later to three internatiol court ju tdges who will then issue any warrants. it will likely end up being the security council member states
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that actually act on those warrants and to thdetain and brg those individuals before the court. >> all right. we'll see what happens. a young man, an unlikely star on the internecause of a tornado all caught on videotape. >> tornado boy. ow, ow! [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums got the mirrors all adjusted? you can see everything ok?. just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. and leave your phone in your purse, i don't want you texting. >> daddy... ok! ok, here you go. >> thanks >> and call me--but not while you're driving.
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because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪ a powerful storm spawned a tornado and a new internet sensation. >> reporter: it's amateur video of a tornado with a twist. >> do you see that twister? do you see that twister?
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>> reporter: and the twist is the narrator. >> you can just call me the tornado boy. >> reporter: it seem like a pretty low-key teenager, right? >> this is a tornado. oh, my god! you can see that! oh, my god. >> reporter: 15-year-old tyler tubs was talking to his mom on the phone atis home in hempfield, pennsylvania, outside pittsburgh -- >> right above us, mom. it is humongous. >> reporter: you would be excited, too. >> we don't get tornadoes here. reporter: but there it was captured on various home videos. what tyler managed to capture was the fear. >> oh, my god! it landed! oh, my god! tornado, tornado! >> reporter: the tape ends as tyler raced for the finished basement. next thing you know he is fodder for youtube critics, making fun of his accent, calling him assisty, a drama queen.ll
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before you go calling him assisty, look at all the damage it caused.oz >> reporter: dozens of homes da were damaged. some were completely destroyed. to those who call him wimpy, tyler says -- >> ty did not see it them dn't see what i saw. >> reporter: the h twister didt damage his house. his individual overon its way to becoming an internet hit. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: now tornado boy is being compared to another exuberant observer of natural phenomena. >> wow! >> reporter: double rainbow guy. >> oh, my god, oh, my god! >> oh, my god! if you could see that! it's so bright. >> it's coming down hard. >> what does this me? do you see that? >> reporter: at least tornado boy didn't cry as rainbow guy
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The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN March 25, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Gadhafi 47, Libya 44, Nato 37, U.s. 37, Us 27, Syria 14, Benghazi 12, Cnn 10, Ajdabiya 10, United States 8, Moammar Gadhafi 8, U.n. 7, Japan 5, Tyler 4, Tripoli 4, Alabama 4, Lisa Sylvester 4, Geico 4, Nic 3, Reza Sayah 3
Network CNN
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on 6/19/2011